Ditty to Dot

When my grandparents, Joe and Dot Hopper, retired as Presbyterian missionaries to Korea in 1986, their fellow missionaries in Chonju, Korea threw a “Hopper Celebration” at the Christian Medical Research Center. Merrill Grubbs and Marylyn Decamp sang this “Ditty to Dot” while Alma Grubbs played the organ.

We sing of our neighbor, co-worker and friend,
Whose work for her Master has known no end.
Orphans, and mish kids, and prisoners grim
Give thanks for this friend who cares so for them.
Dor-o-thy…Dor-o-thy…

Tho’ memories of Congo, her home, beckoned warm,
A mish-kid type preacher with persuasive charm
At the last minute took matters in hand,
And they sailed together to Morning Calm Land.
Dor-o-thy…Dor-o-thy…
And they sailed together to Morning Calm Land.

First to their children, Alice and Barron
And later to Margaret and David, their son,
She taught the three-R’s and Bible too,
Whilst serving up tea as all moksa’s1 wives do.
Dor-o-thy…Dor-o-thy…
Whilst serving up tea as all moksa’s wives do.

Now scattered around in this old world today
Are dozens of women and men who would say
The Child’s Catechism they learned from Aunt Dot,
Her legacy to them, tho’ much else they forgot.
Dor-o-thy…Dor-o-thy…
Her legacy to them, tho’ much else they forgot.

Oh, many’s the floor upon which she has sot,
In churches, and manses, some cold and some hot.
She’s counseled young wives, and taught their young,
And told countless ajumas2 of Jesus, God’s Son.
Dor-o-thy…Dor-o-thy…
And told countless ajumas of Jesus, God’s Son.

Since ‘48, Chonju’s been her haunt.
Joe’s become “bishop”, she, his confidant.
Through church splits, evacuations, and sep’rations long,
A model missionary - loyal and strong.
Dor-o-thy…Dor-o-thy…
A model missionary - loyal and strong.

Her memory for sermons is phenomenal,
And kept us from resorting too oft’ to the barrel.
Her pen produced columns for “Thought of the Times”,
And for special occasions wrote poems and rhymes.
Dor-o-thy… Dor-o-thy…
And for special occasions wrote poems and rhymes.

From Dragon’s Head Ridge to Montreat’s mountains blue
Now goes our dear Dorothy and Bishop Joe, too.
Tho’ those of us here’ll be bereft of her charms,
Her gran’chillun will welcome her with wide open arms.
Dor-o-thy…Dor-o-thy…
Her gran’chillun will welcome her with wide open arms.


  1. Moska (목사) is Korean for Minister. [return]
  2. Married women (아줌마). [return]

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